Sunchoke puree: to peel or not to peel?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    I am cooking sunchokes for the first time tonight. I want to make a puree with some cream. All the recipes I find require peeling the sunchokes, but I saw Gordon Ramsay recommend to not peel them, saying all the flavor is in the skin.

    Do you peel them or not? If you don't, do you have to somehow strain the puree to get rid of the skin bits or does the skin get pureed along with the sunchokes?

    Thanks!
     
  2. tylerm713

    tylerm713

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    Most recipes I've seen say to peel the skin. However, they also call for the puree to be passed through a chinois, so I would think it wouldn't hurt to leave the skin on. Worth experimenting with...
     
  3. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    You can cook them unpeeled, the result will only be very slightly colored, let's call it a little dirtier look. They mostly use unpeeled topinambours (I prefer that name) to make delicious soups. The peel disappears when mixing the soup. In other cases, just peel them, you don't need all that much per person.

    A small but good-to-know detail; don't be surprised when after eating them, you will be able to trumpet the entire national hymne in one go, ... not necessarely with your mouth! Lol! 
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  4. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I had to search to find out what it was....    and then I discovered it's what we in the UK call Jerusalem artichoke!

    And Chris is right - the after-effects can be startling...!  When my family were young, they insisted it gave them 'bum-burps'.
     
  5. french fries

    french fries

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    Well yeah! I left the peel on, sauteed them in butter, then finished cooking them in cream and put them in the food processor. It was delicious, but dirty looking alright! It looked grayish... not exactly appetizing. But still it was very good! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  6. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I use a method from a Jamie Oliver book.  I scrub the roots.  Slice into long strips - put into a baking dish and add a little garlic (not too much, or it overpowers the dish).  Add double cream to come up to about half way up the dish.  Add a layer of sourdough breadcrumbs with a good seasoning of seasalt (I use Maldon sea salt flakes).  Bake in a hot oven until the artichokes are soft and cooked.  They don't end too 'brown'!

    Wonderful!
     
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    Ishbel, thanks! That's like.. sunchokes au gratin! I'll have to try next time!
     
  8. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Yes, that's exactly what it is - I forgot to say that I grate a little nutmeg over the unpeeled artichoke after adding the cream - and of course, I S&P to taste before adding the breadcrumbs.
     
  9. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    The nice name "Jerusalem artichokes" probably isn't chosen for it's taste-ressemblance to artichokes? We call them aardpeer (earthpear) in dutch and topinambour in french.

    In fact, I think they taste more like like a weaker version of this "forgotten" vegetable;

    ... but what are these?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. bazza

    bazza

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    Ishbel we call them Jerusalem Fartichokes /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif

    Chris your picture is of salsify, or at least that is what they are known as round here.
     
  11. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Bingo, Bazza, salsify. I'm convinced a lot of people have never seen these before. Such a delicious vegetable. They are also called "the poor man's asparagus" although there is no relationship with asparagus whatsoever.
     
  12. french fries

    french fries

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    I love salsifis, but I've never seen them here, neither fresh nor canned. Salsifis are one of the best tasting root vegetable.
     
  13. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Bazza

    My polite children's version of bottom burps is SOOOO much better than your description!

    YAAAY for salsify!

    You have to soak them in acidulated water to ensure they don't turn brownish-beige (I use lemon juice) - and they should be cooked in a blanc, to ensure they don't discolour whilst boiling.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  14. redzuk

    redzuk

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    how about this description, from Wikipedia

    Gerard's Herbal, printed in 1621, quotes the English planterJohn Goodyer  on Jerusalem artichokes:
     
  15. bazza

    bazza

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    Ha ha, apart from the side effects they are delicious.

    I have prepared them several ways and they do make a wonderful soup. I recenly saw a TV chef do a jerusalem artichoke puree with vanilla and served it with red mullet, interesting combination.
     
  16. season

    season

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    As to the trumpeting...I use a trick I learned when cooking pinto beans. Toss in a few tablespoons od baking soda when simmering. The pot will fizz and hiss and you trumpeting will cease.
     
  17. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Season, what a genteel word for the effects of certain foods on the digestive system! 

    Would Beano help? I swear by it for cruciferous veggies, but also use it for zucchini and legumes.